Just bought the 2004 Frontier truck with 5 speed manual transmission and
trying to figure out how to park this sucker on a steep incline. All the
stick shifts I have had has the parking brake on the center where you
could control it with the right hand while you could clutch and gas at
the same time to prevent it from rolling backward on a steep incline.
The Frontier, on the other hand, has the left foot operated parking
brake with right hand release. How do you Frontier owners parallel park
this sucker on a very steep incline without rollback and without burning
up the clutch? TIA
Ok, then going forward uphill with a parked car 1' away in front and 1'
away in back (not unrealistic in San Francisco with inclines almost at
45 degrees and just inches to play with for parallel parking), you put
the transmission in 1st, give it some gas and one of 4 things will
happen without the hand brake. 1. Burn the clutch and go forward; 2
Truck dies; 3 Truck rolls back and hit the car below or; 4 Truck pops
forward and hit the car in front. Would be easier if the Frontier had a
hand brake like most of the vehicles with manual transmission. Not much
problem driving the truck around in San Francisco so far with a little
roll back. But parallel parking on a steep hill with this foot brake
setup is a challenge. (BTW, I've parallel parked my other car and truck
with hand brakes without problems.)
Now I have a better understanding. I agree the design that requires
your left foot to disengage the parking brake has this major
shortcoming. One technique I would try if I were in your situation is
to apply gas and brake simultaneously with your right foot. I have no
idea if it is possible in a Frontier, but it definitely was possible in
the '94 PF 5sp I used to own. The technique has a name -- heel toe --
and I use it all the time when down shifting as I approach an
intersection in my manual transmission Toyota.
Good -- I'm glad you're willing to give it a try. The name, heel & toe,
is a misnomer, in case you don't know. The correct technique is to use
the ball of your right foot against the brake, and the right-most edge
of your right foot for the gas. Then when you are slowing for an
intersection, you apply brake, then simultaneously depress the clutch,
down shift, goose the gas, and let out the clutch. Sounds complicated,
but it's fun after you get good at it. Will work in a similar fashion
when you're stuck at a stop going uphill and don't want to roll backwards.
Was this truck drive tested before purchase and the braking system
evaluated? It's not a defect or wrong engineering if the product was
Emmanuel who loves his 04 CrewCab Fronty.
Oh, the foot brake is fine just stupid engineering, considering its a
manual transmission, where you need to do the heel and toe thing as
describe by "ppoint" above. Don't buy this truck if you need to parallel
park it on a steep hill or else learn heel and toe. Hand brake should
have been essential on this puppy. Just my opinion. This is my fifth
auto with manual transmission but the Frontier is the only one that does
not have a hand brake.
Test drive all right, good brakes too, but there were no hills where the
dealer is located so that caught me off guard regarding the parallel
parking dilemma. Would still have brought it. Nice truck, better price
and with much, much more features than the Toyota, love it. Would be
even better if it came with a front dome light, glove box light, locking
gas cap and a couple more tie downs. But hey this is what aftermarket
add-ons is for.
Learn to drive a stick. I live in the SF Bay area, I've never bought
anything but a stick shift ('72 240-Z, '70 PU, '87 Pathfinder, '95 PF,
'01 PF, also inherited an '87 Corvette, ALL with sitcks), and I've never
needed the hand brake to park in the City. Clutch in, real brake on,
start car, hand brake off, GO).
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